Show Me the Money

Here's the annual salary required to buy a median-priced home in Houston

Here's the annual salary required to buy a median-priced Houston home

1 On the Market Vince Young Royal Oaks house 12006 Legend Manor Drive October 2014 exterior front day
In Houston, you need a bigger salary now to afford that house. Photo by © Mel Garrett/Houston Association of Realtors

Owning a house is expensive, even if you just strip it down to the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. So what kind of salary do you need to afford a median-priced home in Houston?

More than last year, it turns out.

Mortgage tracking site once again analyzed 27 major U.S. metros and found that H-Town is experiencing a decrease in mortgage rates and a major uptick in home prices. Put those two together and you also get a $2,000 increase in the salary necessary to make it all happen.

In Houston, the annual income needed now to comfortably sign on the dotted line is $52,274.68, compared to last year's $49,983.37. With this salary and a mortgage rate of 3.75, homebuyers can afford a $217,400 home with an average monthly payment of #1,219.74.

The data puts Houston at No. 16, sandwiched between Philadelphia and Minneapolis. Last year Houston was the most expensive Texas metro on the list, but this year it flip-flopped with No. 14 Dallas. Now $54,764.49 will buy a $232,200 home in Dallas with an average monthly payment of $1,277.84.

No. 19 San Antonio saw a significant increase in its second quarter, with salaries alone jumping up $1,780. That brings the total to $$48,752.98 in order to afford a $210,500 home.

The website also calculates what salary would be required if a 10 percent down payment were used instead of the more traditional 20 percent and the sum is, predictably, much larger. In Dallas, the amount is nearly 10 grand more: $62,663. In Houston, it's $59,664 and in San Antonio it's $55,888.

San Francisco is still the most expensive city overall, with the median home price having gone up from $742,900 to $885,600. If you want to buy there, you'd better be earning at least $161,947.60 — way, way higher than the national average of $52,699.17.